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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3
Welcome to the third and final part of this chapter. Thank you all for the 100s of comments and upvotes - maybe this post will take us above 1,000 for this topic! Keep any feedback or questions coming in the replies below. Before you read this note, please start with Part I and then Part II so it hangs together and makes sense. Part III
Squeezes and other risks
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
Squeezes and other risks
We are going to cover three common risks that traders face: events; squeezes, asymmetric bets.
Economic releases can cause large short-term volatility. The most famous is Non Farm Payrolls, which is the most widely watched measure of US employment levels and affects the price of many instruments.On an NFP announcement currencies like EURUSD might jump (or drop) 100 pips no problem. This is fine and there are trading strategies that one may employ around this but the key thing is to be aware of these releases.You can find economic calendars all over the internet - including on this site - and you need only check if there are any major releases each day or week. For example, if you are trading off some intraday chart and scalping a few pips here and there it would be highly sensible to go into a known data release flat as it is pure coin-toss and not the reason for your trading. It only takes five minutes each day to plan for the day ahead so do not get caught out by this. Many retail traders get stopped out on such events when price volatility is at its peak.
Short squeezes bring a lot of danger and perhaps some opportunity. The story of VW and Porsche is the best short squeeze ever. Throughout these articles we've used FX examples wherever possible but in this one instance the concept (which is also highly relevant in FX) is best illustrated with an historical lesson from a different asset class. A short squeeze is when a participant ends up in a short position they are forced to cover. Especially when the rest of the market knows that this participant can be bullied into stopping out at terrible levels, provided the market can briefly drive the price into their pain zone. There's a reason for the car, don't worry Hedge funds had been shorting VW stock. However the amount of VW stock available to buy in the open market was actually quite limited. The local government owned a chunk and Porsche itself had bought and locked away around 30%. Neither of these would sell to the hedge-funds so a good amount of the stock was un-buyable at any price. If you sell or short a stock you must be prepared to buy it back to go flat at some point. To cut a long story short, Porsche bought a lot of call options on VW stock. These options gave them the right to purchase VW stock from banks at slightly above market price. Eventually the banks who had sold these options realised there was no VW stock to go out and buy since the German government wouldn’t sell its allocation and Porsche wouldn’t either. If Porsche called in the options the banks were in trouble. Porsche called in the options which forced the shorts to buy stock - at whatever price they could get it. The price squeezed higher as those that were short got massively squeezed and stopped out. For one brief moment in 2008, VW was the world’s most valuable company. Shorts were burned hard. Incredible event Porsche apparently made $11.5 billion on the trade. The BBC described Porsche as “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.” If this all seems exotic then know that the same thing happens in FX all the time. If everyone in the market is talking about a key level in EURUSD being 1.2050 then you can bet the market will try to push through 1.2050 just to take out any short stops at that level. Whether it then rallies higher or fails and trades back lower is a different matter entirely. This brings us on to the matter of crowded trades. We will look at positioning in more detail in the next section. Crowded trades are dangerous for PNL. If everyone believes EURUSD is going down and has already sold EURUSD then you run the risk of a short squeeze. For additional selling to take place you need a very good reason for people to add to their position whereas a move in the other direction could force mass buying to cover their shorts. A trading mentor when I worked at the investment bank once advised me: Always think about which move would cause the maximum people the maximum pain. That move is precisely what you should be watching out for at all times.
Also known as picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. This risk has caught out many a retail trader. Sometimes it is referred to as a "negative skew" strategy. Ideally what you are looking for is asymmetric risk trade set-ups: that is where the downside is clearly defined and smaller than the upside. What you want to avoid is the opposite. A famous example of this going wrong was the Swiss National Bank de-peg in 2012. The Swiss National Bank had said they would defend the price of EURCHF so that it did not go below 1.2. Many people believed it could never go below 1.2 due to this. Many retail traders therefore opted for a strategy that some describe as ‘picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller’. They would would buy EURCHF above the peg level and hope for a tiny rally of several pips before selling them back and keep doing this repeatedly. Often they were highly leveraged at 100:1 so that they could amplify the profit of the tiny 5-10 pip rally. Then this happened. Something that changed FX markets forever The SNB suddenly did the unthinkable. They stopped defending the price. CHF jumped and so EURCHF (the number of CHF per 1 EUR) dropped to new lows very fast. Clearly, this trade had horrific risk : reward asymmetry: you risked 30% to make 0.05%. Other strategies like naively selling options have the same result. You win a small amount of money each day and then spectacularly blow up at some point down the line.
We have talked about short squeezes. But how do you know what the market position is? And should you care? Let’s start with the first. You should definitely care. Let’s imagine the entire market is exceptionally long EURUSD and positioning reaches extreme levels. This makes EURUSD very vulnerable. To keep the price going higher EURUSD needs to attract fresh buy orders. If everyone is already long and has no room to add, what can incentivise people to keep buying? The news flow might be good. They may believe EURUSD goes higher. But they have already bought and have their maximum position on. On the flip side, if there’s an unexpected event and EURUSD gaps lower you will have the entire market trying to exit the position at the same time. Like a herd of cows running through a single doorway. Messy. We are going to look at this in more detail in a later chapter, where we discuss ‘carry’ trades. For now this TRYJPY chart might provide some idea of what a rush to the exits of a crowded position looks like. A carry trade position clear-out in action Knowing if the market is currently at extreme levels of long or short can therefore be helpful. The CFTC makes available a weekly report, which details the overall positions of speculative traders “Non Commercial Traders” in some of the major futures products. This includes futures tied to deliverable FX pairs such as EURUSD as well as products such as gold. The report is called “CFTC Commitments of Traders” ("COT"). This is a great benchmark. It is far more representative of the overall market than the proprietary ones offered by retail brokers as it covers a far larger cross-section of the institutional market. Generally market participants will not pay a lot of attention to commercial hedgers, which are also detailed in the report. This data is worth tracking but these folks are simply hedging real-world transactions rather than speculating so their activity is far less revealing and far more noisy. You can find the data online for free and download it directly here. Raw format is kinda hard to work with However, many websites will chart this for you free of charge and you may find it more convenient to look at it that way. Just google “CFTC positioning charts”. But you can easily get visualisations You can visually spot extreme positioning. It is extremely powerful. Bear in mind the reports come out Friday afternoon US time and the report is a snapshot up to the prior Tuesday. That means it is a lagged report - by the time it is released it is a few days out of date. For longer term trades where you hold positions for weeks this is of course still pretty helpful information. As well as the absolute level (is the speculative market net long or short) you can also use this to pick up on changes in positioning. For example if bad news comes out how much does the net short increase? If good news comes out, the market may remain net short but how much did they buy back? A lot of traders ask themselves “Does the market have this trade on?” The positioning data is a good method for answering this. It provides a good finger on the pulse of the wider market sentiment and activity. For example you might say: “There was lots of noise about the good employment numbers in the US. However, there wasn’t actually a lot of position change on the back of it. Maybe everyone who wants to buy already has. What would happen now if bad news came out?” In general traders will be wary of entering a crowded position because it will be hard to attract additional buyers or sellers and there could be an aggressive exit. If you want to enter a trade that is showing extreme levels of positioning you must think carefully about this dynamic.
Retail traders often drastically underestimate how correlated their bets are. Through bitter experience, I have learned that a mistake in position correlation is the root of some of the most serious problems in trading. If you have eight highly correlated positions, then you are really trading one position that is eight times as large. Bruce Kovner of hedge fund, Caxton Associates For example, if you are trading a bunch of pairs against the USD you will end up with a simply huge USD exposure. A single USD-trigger can ruin all your bets. Your ideal scenario — and it isn’t always possible — would be to have a highly diversified portfolio of bets that do not move in tandem. Look at this chart. Inverted USD index (DXY) is green. AUDUSD is orange. EURUSD is blue. Chart from TradingView So the whole thing is just one big USD trade! If you are long AUDUSD, long EURUSD, and short DXY you have three anti USD bets that are all likely to work or fail together. The more diversified your portfolio of bets are, the more risk you can take on each. There’s a really good video, explaining the benefits of diversification from Ray Dalio. A systematic fund with access to an investable universe of 10,000 instruments has more opportunity to make a better risk-adjusted return than a trader who only focuses on three symbols. Diversification really is the closest thing to a free lunch in finance. But let’s be pragmatic and realistic. Human retail traders don’t have capacity to run even one hundred bets at a time. More realistic would be an average of 2-3 trades on simultaneously. So what can be done? For example:
You might diversify across time horizons by having a mix of short-term and long-term trades.
You might diversify across asset classes - trading some FX but also crypto and equities.
You might diversify your trade generation approach so you are not relying on the same indicators or drivers on each trade.
You might diversify your exposure to the market regime by having some trades that assume a trend will continue (momentum) and some that assume we will be range-bound (carry).
And so on. Basically you want to scan your portfolio of trades and make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. If some trades underperform others will perform - assuming the bets are not correlated - and that way you can ensure your overall portfolio takes less risk per unit of return. The key thing is to start thinking about a portfolio of bets and what each new trade offers to your existing portfolio of risk. Will it diversify or amplify a current exposure?
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
One common mistake is to get bored and restless and put on crap trades. This just means trades in which you have low conviction. It is perfectly fine not to trade. If you feel like you do not understand the market at a particular point, simply choose not to trade. Flat is a position. Do not waste your bullets on rubbish trades. Only enter a trade when you have carefully considered it from all angles and feel good about the risk. This will make it far easier to hold onto the trade if it moves against you at any point. You actually believe in it. Equally, you need to set monthly limits. A standard limit might be a 10% account balance stop per month. At that point you close all your positions immediately and stop trading till next month. Be strict with yourself and walk away Let’s assume you started the year with $100k and made 5% in January so enter Feb with $105k balance. Your stop is therefore 10% of $105k or $10.5k . If your account balance dips to $94.5k ($105k-$10.5k) then you stop yourself out and don’t resume trading till March the first. Having monthly calendar breaks is nice for another reason. Say you made a load of money in January. You don’t want to start February feeling you are up 5% or it is too tempting to avoid trading all month and protect the existing win. Each month and each year should feel like a clean slate and an independent period. Everyone has trading slumps. It is perfectly normal. It will definitely happen to you at some stage. The trick is to take a break and refocus. Conserve your capital by not trading a lot whilst you are on a losing streak. This period will be much harder for you emotionally and you’ll end up making suboptimal decisions. An enforced break will help you see the bigger picture. Put in place a process before you start trading and then it’ll be easy to follow and will feel much less emotional. Remember: the market doesn’t care if you win or lose, it is nothing personal. When your head has cooled and you feel calm you return the next month and begin the task of building back your account balance.
That's a wrap on risk management
Thanks for taking time to read this three-part chapter on risk management. I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment in the replies if you have any questions or feedback. Remember: the most important part of trading is not making money. It is not losing money. Always start with that principle. I hope these three notes have provided some food for thought on how you might approach risk management and are of practical use to you when trading. Avoiding mistakes is not a sexy tagline but it is an effective and reliable way to improve results. Next up I will be writing about an exciting topic I think many traders should look at rather differently: news trading. Please follow on here to receive notifications and the broad outline is below. News Trading Part I
Why use the economic calendar
Reading the economic calendar
Knowing what's priced in
First order thinking vs second order thinking
News Trading Part II
Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
Data surprise index
Using recent events to predict future reactions
Buy the rumour, sell the fact
The mysterious 'position trim' effect
Some key FX releases
*** Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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BrokerXP Customer Service
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I am a professional Day Trader working for a Prop Fund, Hope I can help people out and answer some questions
Howdy all, I work professionally for a proprietary trading fund, and have worked for quite a few in my time, hope I can offer some insights on trading etc you guys might have. Bonus for you guys Here are the columns in my trading journal and various explanations where appropriate: Trade Number – Simply is this the first trade of the year? The 10th?, The 50th? I count a trade that you opened and closed just one trade number. For example if you buy EUUSD today and sell it 50 pips later in the day and close out the trade, then that is just one trade for recording purposes. I do not create a second trade number to describe the exit. Both the entry and exit are under the same trade number. Ticket Number – This is ticket number / order ID number that your broker gives you for the trade on your platform. Day of the Week – This would be simply the day of the week the trade was initiated Financial Instrument / Currency Pair – Whatever Financial Instrument or currency pair you are trading. If you are trading EUUSD, put EUUSD. If you are trading the EuroFX futures contract, then put in Euro FX. If you are trading the emini S&P, then put in Emini S&P 500. If you are trading a stock, put in the ticker symbol. Etc. Buy/Sell or Long/Short – Did you buy or sell to open the new trade? If you bought something to open the trade, then write in either BUY or LONG. If you sold(shorted) something to open a trade, then write in SOLD, or SHORT. This is a personal preference. Some people like to put in their journals as BUY/SELL. Other people like to write in Long/Short. My preference is for writing in long/short, since that is the more professional way to say it. I like to use the lingo where possible. Order Type – Market or Limit – When you entered the trade was it a market order or limit order? Some people can enter a trade using a combination of market and limit orders. If you enter a trade for $1 million half of which was market order and the other half was limit order, then you can write in $500,000 Market, $500,000 Limit as a bullet points. Position Size / Units / Contracts / Shares – How big was the total trade you entered? If you bought 1 standard lot of a currency pair, then write in $100,000 or 1 standard lot. If you bought 5 gold futures contracts, then write in 5 contracts. If you bought 1,000 shares of stock, then write in 1,000 shares. Etc. Entry Price – The entry price you received entering your opening position. If you entered at multiple prices, then you can either write in all the different fills you got, or specify the average price received. Entry Date – Date that you entered the position. For example January 23, 2012. Or you can write in 1/23/12 . Entry Time – Time that you opened the position. If it is multiple positions, then you can specify each time for each various fill, or you can specify the time range. For example if you got $100,000 worth of EUUSD filled at 3:00 AM EST, and another $100,000 filled at 3:05 and another $100,000 filled at 3:25, then you can write all those in, or you can specify a range of 3:00 – 3:30 AM EST. Entry Spread Cost (in pips) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in pips. If you executed a market order, how many pips did you pay in spread. Entry Spread Cost (in dollars) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in dollars. If you executed a market order, how many dollars did you pay in spread. Stop Loss Size – How big is your stop loss size? If you are trading a currency pair, then you write in the pips. If you are trading the S&P futures contract, then write in the number of points. If you are trading a stock, then write in how many cents or dollars your stop is away from your entry price. % Risk – If you were to get stopped out of the trade, how much % loss of your equity is that? This is where you input your risk per trade expressed in % terms if you use such a position sizing method. If you risked 0.50% of your account on the trade, then put in 0.50% Risk in dollars – If you were to get stopped out of the trade, how much loss in dollars is that. For example if you have a $100,000 account and you risked 1% on a trade, then write in $1,000 dollars Potential Reward: Risk Ratio – This is a column that I only sometimes fill in. You write in what the potential reward risk ratio of the trade is. If you are trading using a 100 pip stop and you expect that the market can reasonably move 300 pips, then you can write in 3:1. Of course this is an interesting column because you can look at it after the trade is finished and see how close you were or how far removed from reality your initial projections were. Potential Win Rate – This is another column that I only sometimes fill in. You write in what you believe the potential win rate of this trade is. If you were to place this trade 10 times in a row, how many times do you think you would win? I write it in as percentage terms. If you believe the trade has a 50% chance to win, then write in 50%. Type of Inefficiency – This is where you write in what type of inefficiency you are looking to capture. I use the word inefficiency here. I believe it is important to think of trading setups as inefficiencies. If you think in terms of inefficiencies, then you will think in terms of the market being mispriced, then you will think about the reasons why the market is mispriced and why such market expectations for example are out of alignment with reality. In this category I could write in different types of trades such as fading the stops, different types of news trades, expecting stops to get tripped, betting on sentiment intensifying, betting on sentiment reversing, etc. I do not write in all the reasons why I took the trade in this column. I do that in another column. This column is just to broadly define what type of inefficiency you are looking to capture. Chart Time Frame – I do not use this since all my order flow based trades have nothing to do with what chart time frame I look at. However, if you are a chartist or price action trader, then you may want to include what chart time frame you found whatever pattern you were looking at. Exit Price – When you exit your trade, you enter the price you received here. Exit Date – The date you exited your trade. Exit Time – The time you exited your trade. Trade Duration – In hours, minutes, days or weeks. If the trade lasts less than an hour, I will usually write in the duration in minutes. Anything in between 1 and 48 hours, I write in the hours amount. Anything past that and I write it as days or weeks as appropriate, etc. Pips the trade went against you before turning into a winner – If you have a trade that suffered a draw down, but did not stop you out and eventually was a winner, then you write it how many pips the trade went against you before it turned into a profitable trade. The reason you have this column is to compare it to your stop loss size and see any patterns that emerge. If you notice that a lot of your winning trades suffer a big draw down and get near your stop loss points but turn out to be a profitable trade, then you can further refine your entry strategy to get in a better price. Slippage on the Exit – If you get stopped out for a loss, then you write in how many pips you suffered as slippage, if any. For example if you are long EUUSD at 1.2500 and have your stop loss at 1.2400 and the market drops and you get filled at 1.2398, then you would write in -2 pips slippage. In other words you lost 2 pips as slippage. This is important for a few different reasons. Firstly, you want to see if the places you put your stop at suffer from slippage. If they do, perhaps you can get better stop loss placement, or use it as useful information to find new inefficiencies. Secondly, you want to see how much slippage your broker is giving you. If you are trading the same system with different brokers, then you can record the slippage from each one and see which has the lowest slippage so you can choose them. Profit/Loss -You write in the profit and/or loss in pips, cents, points, etc as appropriate. If you bought EUUSD at 1.2500 and sell it at 1.2550, you made 50 pips, so write in +50 pips. If you bought a stock at $50 and you sell it at $60, then write in +$10. If you buy the S&P futures at 1,250 and sell them at 1,275, then write in +25 points. If you buy the GBP/USD at 1.5000 and you sell it at 1.4900, then write in -100 pips. Etc. I color code the box background to green for profit and red for loss. Profit/Loss In Dollars – You write the profit and/or loss in dollars (or euros, or jpy, etc whatever currency your account is denominated in). If you are long $100,000 of EUUSD at 1.2500 and sell it at 1.2600, then write in +$1,000. If you are short $100,000 GBP/USD at 1.5900 and it rises to 1.6000 and you cover, then write in -$1,000. I color code the box background to green for profit and red for loss. Profit/Loss as % of your account – Write in the profit and/or loss as % of your account. If a trade made you 2% of your account, then write in +2%. If a trade lost 0.50%, then write in -0.50%. I color code the box background to green for profit and red for loss. Reward:Risk Ratio or R multiple: If the trade is a profit, then write in how many times your risk did it pay off. If you risked 0.50% and you made 1.00%, then write in +2R or 2:1 or 2.0. If you risked 0.50% and a trade only makes 0.10%, then write in +0.20R or 0.2:1 or 0.2. If a trade went for a loss that is equal to or less than what you risked, then I do not write in anything. If the loss is greater than the amount you risked, then I do write it in this column. For example lets say you risk 0.50% on a stock, but overnight the market gaps and you lose 1.50% on a trade, then I would write it in as a -3R. What Type of trading loss if the trade lost money? – This is where I describe in very general terms a trade if it lost money. For example, if I lost money on a trade and the reason was because I was buying in a market that was making fresh lows, but after I bought the market kept on going lower, then I would write in: “trying to pick a bottom.” If I tried shorting into a rising uptrend and I take a loss, then I describe it as “trying to pick a top.” If I am buying in an uptrend and buy on a retracement, but the market makes a deeper retracement or trend change, then I write in “tried to buy a ret.” And so on and so forth. In very general terms I describe it. The various ways I use are: • Trying to pick a bottom • Trying to pick a top • Shorting a bottom • Buying a top • Shorting a ret and failed • Wrongly predicted news • Bought a ret and failed • Fade a resistance level • Buy a support level • Tried to buy a breakout higher • Tried to short a breakout lower I find this category very interesting and important because when performing trade journal analysis, you can notice trends when you have winners or losing trades. For example if I notice a string of losing trades and I notice that all of them occur in the same market, and all of them have as a reason: “tried to pick a bottom”, then I know I was dumb for trying to pick a bottom five times in a row. I was fighting the macro order flow and it was dumb. Or if I notice a string of losers and see that I tried to buy a breakout and it failed five times in a row, but notice that the market continued to go higher after I was stopped out, then I realize that I was correct in the move, but I just applied the wrong entry strategy. I should have bought a retracement, instead of trying to buy a fresh breakout. That Day’s Weaknesses (If any) – This is where I write in if there were any weaknesses or distractions on the day I placed the trade. For example if you are dead tired and place a trade, then write in that you were very tired. Or if you place a trade when there were five people coming and out of your trading office or room in your house, then write that in. If you placed the trade when the fire alarm was going off then write that in. Or if you place a trade without having done your daily habits, then write that in. Etc. Whatever you believe was a possible weakness that threw you off your game. That Day’s Strengths (If any) – Here you can write in what strengths you had during the day you placed your trade. If you had complete peace and quiet, write that in. If you completed all your daily habits, then write that in. Etc. Whatever you believe was a possible strength during the day. How many Open Positions Total (including the one you just placed) – How many open trades do you have after placing this one? If you have zero open trades and you just placed one, then the total number of open positions would be one, so write in “1.” If you have on three open trades, and you are placing a new current one, then the total number of open positions would be four, so write in “4.” The reason you have this column in your trading journal is so that you can notice trends in winning and losing streaks. Do a lot of your losing streaks happen when you have on a lot of open positions at the same time? Do you have a winning streak when the number of open positions is kept low? Or can you handle a lot of open positions at the same time? Exit Spread Cost (in pips) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in pips. If you executed a market order, how many pips did you pay in spread. Exit Spread Cost (in dollars) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in dollars. If you executed a market order, how many dollars did you pay in spread. Total Spread Cost (in pips) – You write in the total spread cost of the entry and exit in pips. Total Spread Cost (in dollars) – You write in the total spread cost of the entry and exit in dollars. Commission Cost – Here you write in the total commission cost that you incurred for getting in and out of the trade. If you have a forex broker that is commission free and only gets compensated through the spread, then you do not need this column. Starting Balance – The starting account balance that you had prior to the placing of the trade Interest/swap – If you hold forex currency pairs past the rollover, then you either get interest or need to pay out interest depending on the rollover rates. Or if you bought a stock and got a dividend then write that in. Or if you shorted a stock and you had to pay a dividend, then write that in. Ending Balance – The ending balance of your account after the trade is closed after taking into account trade P&L, commission cost, and interest/swap. Reasons for taking the trade – Here is where you go into much more detail about why you placed the trade. Write out your thinking. Instead of writing a paragraph or two describing my thinking behind the trade, I condense the reasons down into bullet points. It can be anywhere from 1-10 bullet points. What I Learned – No matter if the trade is a win or loss, write down what you believed you learned. Again, instead of writing out a paragraph or two, I condense it down into bullet points. it can be anywhere from 1-10 bullet points. I do this during the day the trade closed as a profit or loss. What I learned after Long Term reflection, several days, weeks, or months – This is the very interesting column. This is important because after you have a winning or losing trade, you will not always know the true reasons why it happened. You have your immediate theories and reasons which you include in the previous column. However, there are times when after several days, weeks, or months, you find the true reason and proper market belief about why your trade succeeded or failed. It can take a few days or weeks or months to reach that “aha” moment. I am not saying that I am thinking about trades I placed ten months ago. I try to forget about them and focus on the present moment. However, there will be trades where you have these nagging questions about they failed or succeeded and you will only discover those reasons several days, weeks, or months later. When you discover the reasons, you write them in this column.
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Trading strategies and tips using the CND bot to maximise ROI.
Hi guys, since I have never been a good short-term trader I’d love to hear some of your tips and strategies when trading the indicators from the CND bot. I thought that if we all share our strategies and tips here we could all learn from each other and hopefully, everyone could increase their ROI. I love the fact that I don’t have to spend hours anymore to research through thousands of coins, instead, I only research the one I receive an indicator for and that has a high probability. I think Cindicator can be a great tool if used properly with a good strategy and sticking to it. But I need some inputs from you guys and improve my strategy. Some questions might sound stupid for some people but hey we are all learning here. So here are my questions where I’d be curious to see how you guys trade those indicators. Feel free to comment and add questions I’d really like to see a lot of different inputs from everyone. The more we share the more we all gain! *Question 1: Weekly support level Let’s say you receive the following indicator: “The cryptocurrency Ripple settled at $0.95320 at Bitfinex exchange at 9:00 PM UTC on Wednesday, February 21. What will be the minimum and the maximum price of XRP/USD from 12:01 AM UTC on Thursday, February 22 until 11:59 PM UTC on Wednesday, February 28? Resistance level: 1.11008 Support level: 0.81” In that situation what would you guys do? Would you just put a buy order just above the support level? And a sell order just below the resistance level? If so how much above and below support/resistance? Can you even put a sell order on a coin that you haven’t even bought yet? Where would you put your stop loss sell order? *Question 2: Let’s say you receive this indicator: “The cryptocurrency ABC (ABC/USD) settled at 15 USD at 10:00 AM UTC at the Bitfinex exchange on Monday, February 19. In your opinion, will ABC/USD trade above 21 USD (+40%) at any time before March 20? Indicator: 65.0%” Note: This indicator has not yet expired, the USD value and token symbol have been changed. Do you guys size your position depending on the probability of the indicator? When sizing your position do you take into consideration the possible gains as well? I thought for myself of investing 1% of my investing funds for indicators between 65/70%; 2% - 70/75%; 3% - 75/80%; and so forth. What are your thoughts on this? What target price do you guys put? I am still testing few strategies and wonder if for a better guarantee of winning it is not better to sell at +10% or +20% (in that scenario) and not risk of losing the gain just acquired since I don’t know of a crypto exchange that has a trailing stop. And where would you put your stop loss? -5%; -7% *Question 3: Forex indicators, E-mini S&P 500 Futures, Gold Futures, WTI Crude Oil Futures Has anyone here traded those indicators? Where do you trade them and what are your strategies around them? Do you use leverage? If so how much leverage? What % of your funds would you put in them?
Experimental analysis of BTCUSD trends by means of Boston Consulting Group matrix
Telegram channel — trading signals btc, eth, xrp Today, I’ll go on to analyze the BTCUSD pair, as all the other altcoins depend on it. A couple of days ago, there was quite and important fundamental event that was hardly responded by the crypto market. It is about the G20 meeting that was held in Argentina. One of the most important agenda items was digital economy. As you know, they were discussing cryptocurrencies and the future of the crypto market. Following up on this meeting there was drafted a declaration. At first sight, it doesn’t seem to present any sensational solutions. However, the leaders of G-20 member-countries have admitted that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has a huge potential and its development is important for global economy. On the other hand, they have again emphasized the officials’ concern about poor regulation of the cryptocurrency market. Here, a particular emphasis is put on the risks, associated with money laundering and the development of illegal markets, as well as terrorist financing. What does it mean? It is a good signal for alarmists, who have been already disappointed in cryptocurrencies and dumped their deposits. Nobody will ruin the crypto market. Cryptocurrencies, as a type of investment assets will always exist in one form or another. What’s the point in killing the goose that lays golden eggs?! The hype around the crypto market turned into investors those, who had never thought about investing in any assets. Economic participation of people has sharply increased. There appeared whole industrial sector that became almost national idea for particular countries. It is far easier to legalize cryptocurrency and impose taxation, rather than to fight with the products of digital economy. The Group of 20 were discussing the issue of developing a taxation system for international digital services. It means only one thing - one way or another, the whole cryptocurrency market will be split into two parts; the first one will be completely transparent not only for users but for public authorities as well. There will be institutional investors and banks, along with corporations. There, the cryptocurrency will be completely integrated into banking services and become publicly available and user-friendly. Everything will be legalized and regulated. The second part will become a part of shadow economy and will be under continuous pressure from regulators and governmental authorities. The users of such cryptocurrencies will be automatically recognized as financiers of terrorism and accomplices in money laundering. The users of such cryptocurrencies will face potential imprisonment and international prosecution. Even if it sounds unreal now, but if the G-20 are seriously discussing the cryptocurrency matter, I’m sure that the country leaders will join their efforts to bring this scenario into reality. So, I won’t be surprised if, in a few years, there will be another bitcoin fork that will be recognized by the Group of 20, included into gold and forex reserve and will become a new payment means; and the old bitcoin will become illegal and will be traded secretly. But now, it is still an assumption and won’t come true in the new future. I’d like to perform technical analysis of the current bitcoin market sentiment to find out what is going to be in the near future. https://preview.redd.it/7jfpz6euou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=ed0798ef8938d6da6be3e33392b32d20054fa5b2 In my previous analysis a week ago, I offered a long-term forecast for the next 10 months, suggesting the major target at 2000 USD to be reached around October, 2019. I still believe that the bottom at 2000 USD looks quite justified, in terms of both fundamental and technical analysis. This scenario can be real in fact, if bitcoin will be moving in the downward channel with a corridor of about 3000 USD. Previously, BTC could be moving faster in a few days, but in the current crypto market situation, such a narrow range looks reasonable. However, Bitcoin has never moved as it was expected by the majority of traders. I compared in detail the current market situation with the Bitcoin drop in 2014 and noticed some regularities that I emphasized in the last forecast for bitcoin future price. https://preview.redd.it/ut5jhcpvou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=a1f0582387490922b0b9aebd34a93a8cc7703948 If you look closer, you’ll see from the chart above that the bullish trend had been speeding up since August, 2014, and reached its peak in December. I wouldn’t try to fit this into particular dates or months, but if I try to draw a direct parallel with the Bitcoin current fall, it should start falling faster. https://preview.redd.it/rlixmzkwou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=a6086ecddee8770675fdc62dafb726f544e15bad To better explain my idea, I suggest you look at the chart above. Many of you are likely to be familiar with the BCG matrix, is a corporate planning tool created by Boston Consulting Group. Long story short, the matrix describes the life-cycle of a product and its position in the market. I won’t describe it in detail here. I just had an idea to analyze the price trend like a product. A trend is traded in the market like an idea, and each trader votes for it by means of their money, supporting or opposing the idea. Based on this assumption, a trend, like a product, will pass through four stages:
Entering the market - “Problem child”
Developing stage - “Star”
Developed stage - “Cash cow”
Recession - “Poor dog”
The stage of problem child (also known as “question mark”) is the initial step. The product is just entering the market, but consumers don’t trust it, and so, it needs a large amount of investments. I marked this stage with the yellow circle in the chart above. There are two big dumps. The financial supporters of the drop were investing quite much in their bearish trend, but the buyers didn’t trust that idea and didn’t support it. Next, the product has been accepted by buyers, whose market share was quite high in the market, as well as the rate of sales, starting next. There, comes the stage of growth, the Star! In the given example, it is the green box that highlights the zone of the steady bearish trend. It was accepted and admitted by the market, and everybody supports the idea of Bitcoin drop. Everybody likes it and thumbs it up. The next stage is the developed stage, or Cash cow. That is when investors begin to gain the yield from their product and the investment is paying off. It the blue circle in the chart above. There, it is clear that manipulators are starting to buy out and get the cheap biotin, making up their funds spent on dumps. A sure sign of this stage is incredibly high trade volumes. The last stage is recession, or Poor dog. Such a dog is weak and won’t live for long. The product at this stage is not appealing or demanded. Interpreting this idea, there is a clear red circle in the chart above. Market participants don’t believe in the bearish trend any longer and don’t support the idea by their money. The funders are not interested in promoting this idea as its development costs exceed the potential profit, or it may at all generate negative cash return. Therefore, the Bitcoin bearish trend, like a product, is leaving the market, being replaced by a different idea. https://preview.redd.it/ppki39lxou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=1edcc6d841c3d623a78ac615323620868e52a605 Drawing the same parallel with the ongoing bearish trend, you see that the Problem child stage has been already finished. Due to the strong bearish trend, this stage was lasting for a particularly long time, despite the price drop from 20 000 USD down to 6000 USD. The candlesticks clearly display strong volatility and the buyers’ resistance. Eventually, following the long fight, market gave up and the bearish entered the stage of Star. It is clear that, due to the longtime resisting, the bulls stepped back, having lost quite much; and each crypto market participant believed in the bearish idea. The stage was developing very fast, and so, it ended quite soon. And it is clear that the BTCUSD downtrend trend is entering the Cash cow stage now. As I’ve already said, at this stage, manipulators take an advantage of the market inertia and start “milking” the cow, as the marketing specialists call it; traders would say, trick out of hamsters’ money. https://preview.redd.it/abdwsiizou221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=fa8f3648a3f2a1f755f42f6e2d2deb7c640cab95 It is clear from the 15-minute BTCUSD price chart above that there are frequent buyouts; that is investors are gaining profits from the invested cash. Currently, while weak hands are losing their positions, the whales are buying out cheap bitcoins. It will go on until it becomes clear that the idea of the Bitcoin drop has been finished, and the bears don't have any more power to press the market down. Most likely, at this stage, manipulators will repeat the same trick and start selling the bitcoins, they’ve already bought, to create stronger panic. People are extremely nervous, and so, manipulators won’t have to dump much. https://preview.redd.it/itl4gyr0pu221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=7c6943a6a2bd554f1e9e7b44db7fb599c9abe263 If you gain look at the monthly BTCUSD price chart above, you see that the next wave is likely to start in February, 2019. Based on the depth of the plunge, the level at 2000 USD is such an irresistible barrier, which many will start from. I assume that manipulators anticipate this situation and will make their final buyout not going as low as this level. In the volume profile chart, it will look like a hump that I outlined by the red ark. After that, the bearish trend will start exhausting, amid trading flat and weak attempts to draw the price up to 4000 USD. The Bitcoin downtrend will enter the stage of Poor dog. https://preview.redd.it/n8lplvt1pu221.png?width=1954&format=png&auto=webp&s=955ff6e177191986710e731e2c5158de87b115ac This period will be dangerous because of extremely low trade volumes, allowing the manipulators to perform various tricks and attempts to crash the market in order to buy more bitcoins at the lowest price level. There is likely to be another slide down before the bearish trend of 2018-2019 will finally end. The final drop is likely to be followed by a new idea, supporting the BTCUSD growth. The whole cycle will start from the beginning. First, funders will heat the market up, selling the idea to hamsters. Next, supported by the market natural growth, they will launch the rocket up rather high, where they’ll start gaining cash. But that is another story; it is called Bitcoin uptrend of 2019-20?? Unfortunately, the manipulators haven’t yet finished developing their bearish trend, and we’ll have to wait. That is my updated BTCUSD global scenario. I wish you good luck and good profits! Follow us to read important crypto news first! Telegram VK Twitter
Overview of Current Market Valuations and Toyota Motors (TM)
Hello All, Every now and then I do stock screens to see if there are any companies that would be a good value investment. Thanks to the bull market, the opportunities have been few and far between over the last year or two. However one company has consistently popped up in my screens. I initially ignored it as the company is in a sector I personally don't like to invest in due to the large capital requirements. The company is Toyota Motors (TM). Simply put, the valuation seems too good to be true. First off, let me show you what I am talking about. Here are the heat maps from FinViz:
Now as you can see, the general trend of the market is giving you discounts to Financials, Utilities, and Basic Materials, more specifically oil and gold. Of those sectors, I really only like Financials as big oil has been in a downward trend over the past three years. Both Exxon and Chevron have produced less oil than the previous years and are both spending at near record high CapEx levels with no turnaround yet. I have continuously looked at both of them as I don't have any oil in my current portfolio, but haven't got myself to buy either of them. Financials will continue to be attractive at these levels as investors still don't trust their book values since the financial crisis even though asset quality has continued to improve on a broad base. Over the next 5 years, interest rates will rise which will increase their spread which in turn increases their profitability. For the most part, it appears healthcare, consumer goods, and services are currently overvalued. Now, let's look at Toyota. Below is a quick multiples valuation against TM's peers. These are from Yahoo! Finance as GM isn't on FinViz for some reason. P/E
Toyota Motor Co. (TM): 7.81
Honda Motor Co. (HMC): 10.87
General Motors Co. (GM): 15.11
Ford Motor Co. (F): 8.65
Toyota Motor Co. (TM): 9.11
Honda Motor Co. (HMC): 9.30
General Motors Co. (GM): 7.35
Ford Motor Co. (F): 7.90
Toyota Motor Co. (TM): 0.29(!)
Honda Motor Co. (HMC): 0.37
General Motors Co. (GM): 0.52
Ford Motor Co. (F): 0.97
Toyota Motor Co. (TM): 1.02
Honda Motor Co. (HMC): 0.91
General Motors Co. (GM): 1.34
Ford Motor Co. (F): 2.91
As you can see, the whole sector looks cheap on a multiples basis, but of that bunch Toyota seems to win out on an overall valuation based on multiples. Per my own investing rules, as I am a long term shareholder, I won't touch a company that has recently been bankrupt, therefore I rule out GM for any potential investments. Now Toyota is too big of a company to do a full report on in a couple of days. However, of what little research I have done, this is what I have found. First of all, on a macro perspective, the yen has weakened against both the US Dollar and the Chinese Yuan. Over the past two years, the Dollar and Yuan have both gained over 30% to the yen and over 10% this past year. This is a great thing for a Japanese multinational as North America and Asia is TM's second and third largest markets which combined are 46% of 2013's sales.
Because of this, profitability should be higher within Toyota which is also a reason to buy them over GM or Ford as the american automakers will lose money with a strong dollar overseas. Over the past three years, TM has a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.12%. Last year, North America saw 32.8% sales growth and Asia saw 30.22% sales growth. This compounded with the yen weakening is a one-two punch. Due to the strong demand in both North America and Asia, Toyota has had a surge in Consolidated Net Income for Fiscal Year 2014 of 135% in which ForEx is responsible for 123% of that growth alone. In this latest quarter, Net Revenues are up 23.9% with Net Income up 118%. Toyota's Shareholder Presentation Margins have increased across the board with their Gross Profit increasing from last year: TM's Gross Profit Margin
As for a quick look at the balance sheet, Toyota has been de-leveraging over the past 5 years with Total Debt / Equity of 1.25 in 2009 to 1.16 in 2013. Book Value per Share has stayed relatively flat but grew 15.14% from 2012 to 2013. Compare that to a one year increase in share price of only 12.25% I believe we have a winner. This is only what I have found off of a couple hours looking at this tonight and have only scratched the surface as to the information on this company. However after just a small amount of research I firmly believe this is a truly undervalued company and should be bought right away. References: Quick Stats pulled from TM's Annual Report EDIT Thank you all for the replies. I should state that this is just beginning due diligence and there are several assumptions with this thesis, mainly that the Yen will stay depressed at least over the next year. This type of condition is a short term catalyst only and not a long term theme. As some have mentioned already, FX has been almost entirely behind TM's profit and there are real geopolitical risks between Japan and China. Next week I will put together another post looking more into the actual underlying company's long term performance and management's strategic plan going forward. That way we can get a glimpse of what the company might look like in the future. Again thank you all for the kind words and the intelligent discussion around this topic.
Looking for suggestions to secure my family’s financial future. (~$100K to allocate, earning ~$50K/yr after taxes)
Edit: TL;DR - wall of text explaining my current finances, also asking if it’s the right time to enter the housing market (and how I might protect myself if I do so). I’m very cash-heavy and looking for ideas to diversify and grow into retirement, while ensuring my wife and kid are taken care of as well. I realize there are many different options for how to save and plan for retirement. I think I’ll be just fine, but I also recognize that I have a lot of room for improvement. More than my own personal security, I want to provide as much as possible for my wife and child, both of whom I expect to outlive me by many years. Now, I would never share this kind of detail with someone who knows who I am irl, hence the throwaway. As far as non-immediate family and acquaintances know, I’m living paycheck to paycheck, and I’d like to keep it that way. Some background information about me: I’m 35 years old, serving on active duty in the US military, and I’ve been in for a little over 12 years. I’ll be eligible to retire in about 8 years, and a rough conservative estimate is that I’ll receive about $2,000/month retirement pay starting in my early-mid 40s. The plan is to continue working after I separate until, well... until I’m ready to stop. Who knows when I’ll feel too old to work? 55? 65? 85??? The idea is to have the financial freedom to “officially” retire when I’m ready to so, no sooner and no later. I’m married and I have one kiddo. The wife makes a pretty decent paycheck atm, but she’ll soon be looking for work when we relocate to our next assignment. She has about $15K saved up right now. I transferred my Post-911 GI bill to the kid to help offset the cost of college, and because Uncle Sam already so generously paid for my own education while I’ve been on active duty. It would be a waste to use the Bill for myself. Still, I’d like to set aside at least enough to match it or fill the gap up to a Doctorate (just in case the kid wants to pursue that level of education- no pressure lol). The GI Bill should cover a substantial part of the first 3 years, beginning sometime around the year 2030, but I could potentially be paying as much as half of the cost of a 4-year degree, and likely most of any education beyond that. Student loans aren’t all bad, but if I can put my kid through college without having to take out a loan, that would be fantastic. So here’s where my finances sit right now: I’ve calculated my compensations for the next year, and a conservative post-taxes estimate is that I’ll bring home about $50K. I don’t expect that figure to change whole lot over the next 4 years at least. I’m sure my wife will find gainful employment again after we move, but I don’t have enough information to forecast what her earnings will be, so I’ll simply leave it out for now. I’ve done a lot of research into the cost of living at our next assignment, and I keep pretty solid records of spending. Based on our current expenses, and a conservative adjustment accounting fo the location change. I expect to reliably save an average of $1,800 per month out of my paycheck. That’s about a 40% decrease in annual savings compared to the last 2 years, during which time I received some special pay and a bonus. My family budget plan for 2018 allows for about $29K in expenses total, which sounds tight for 2 adults and a child (and it is tight), but I also know it’s easily doable. I’ll adjust that target as we settle into the new place over the next several months, and go from there. Whatever the wife is able to earn after we move, can go straight to the bottom line. I hesitate to forecast my capital gains from investments based on past performance, because it really has been an exceptional few years. Besides, I have yet to ever withdraw from my brokerage account. All dividends and gains from closing positions has gone right back into the pot. Investments: I have $46K in my brokerage account. Roughly 50/50 cash and stocks (individual stocks and ETFs/ETNs etc). Here’s my current portfolio if anyone cares: MO, AAPL, WFC, AMD, BND, IAU, WMT, ARNC, SPY, XIV- roughly equal parts for all of those. They’re a mixture of speculative short-term and div-yielding long-term holds. The half I have sitting in cash is so I can quickly sell calls/average-down/BTFD whenever the next market correction/crash/recession comes. I’m adding about $1K/month to this account via automatic deposit, which I typically split between cost-price-averaging into my longs, and into my cash reserve. I balance my holdings mostly by adding to underperforming positions when I expect a rebound, and not by selling stock unless I’ve held the shares for more than a year. I also try to keep my cash balance roughly equal to the market value of my stocks for the reasons mentioned above (and so I can act if I see an opportunity for a nice swing trade). I have a little over $20K in an interest-earning checking/debit account. This is where the majority of my paycheck lands, and it’s where the majority of my bills come out. I have $15K in USD hard cash. That’s more than I need, to be sure. It’s mostly leftovers from when I sold one car and bought another. I’ll eventually deposit it into a bank I suppose lol. I also have $11K in another checking account which I feed through a credit card, paying the balance off monthly. I’ve been using the credit card to buy gas and pay for other travel expenses. I don’t need a cc to do that, but it’s an easy way to build up my credit score and it helps whenever I need to rent a car or something. Then there’s the $6K sitting in a credit union Roth IRA I opened and sort of forgot about. It barely earns interest at all and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to use it. I own exactly 1 BTC I bought on a whim this summer. It’s hard for me to watch, because it moves around so much in value. Worth about $4.5K today. Other assets I can think of off the top of my head: ~ $4K in physical gold/silver. I guess it’s my hedge against society collapse or whatever lol. I have one of those 50g combi-bars that can be broken into smaller ingots and then a bunch of 1oz silver coins. ~ $2K in various foreign currencies, mostly Sterling. This was left over from when I spent some time in the UK pre-brexit vote. I’m sort of bag-holding it until I can exchange it back to USD for less of a loss. On top of that, I have exactly zero debt. If I were forced to liquidate all of my assets not mentioned above, I’m confident I could come up with another ~ $40K (That’s if you figure a >50% emergency sale depreciation... I have 4 cars, 3 of which would be considered collector’s items and about another $15K in Snap-on tools + all the other random shit I own) I realize my money allocations don’t make a lot of sense right now, but I’m an aggressive saver and the cash tends to pile up quickly. That’s a nice problem to have I guess. One concern I have, is seeing my un-invested money take a big hit from inflation. I’m also a little worried about my bullish stock portfolio, but my plan is to build/hold it for another 15 years or so, and then slowly increase my exposure to bonds as I get into my 40s and 50s. Assuming I can stick to my long-term investing strategy, I’m hoping to be able to ride out any major correction or recession. A major goal of mine is to buy a house. Thanks to the military lifestyle living overseas and frequent relocations though, I haven’t really been in a position to do so. Soon I’ll be moving to a stateside base, but looking at the housing market there, I’m frankly scared to buy right now. Houses in the local area have nearly doubled in just a few years, and I’d rather not spend the next 2 decades upside down in a mortgage if things suddenly take a turn for the worse. The valuations just don’t make sense to me compared with the rental market, and I suspect many of the land owners are deeply indebted in a market that feels pretty hot imo. So there you have it. My personal finances in a nutshell. Not that I’m in financial trouble or anything, but I would love to hear any suggestions or pointers you smarties might have to offer. I suppose some specific questions might include:
How would you rate my stock portfolio and strategy? Are there any big glaring red flags? Am I being too aggressive by having nearly 20% of my net worth invested in those symbols? Am I not being aggressive enough?
Am I being overly paranoid about entering today’s housing market? If not, what are some ways I can hedge against a market value decline without literally shorting the market and getting slammed with fees and commissions. Aside from a potential drawdown in property values, should I be more concerned with rising interest rates? How much might one type of loss cancel the other out? Should I buy now to get a better interest rate, or wait for a “dip” that might not come for a very long time?
To recap my holdings:
brokerage $24K invested $22K dry powder
personal property $40K
home equity $0
annual net income $50K
projected monthly savings $1.8K
approximate family net worth $160K
Any/all ideas and criticisms are welcome. Thanks for reading!
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